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The Christmas Comet - Ho Ho Hopeless

December 27, 2018

As a Sydney-based astronomy enthusiast I had visions of Comet 46p/Wirtanen bringing joy to my Christmas celebration. Alas it was very difficult to see and even the intrepid Geoffrey Wyatt, celebrated Astro-photographer and Education Officer at Sydney Observatory, took some rather nice images, but was still disappointed in the view from the less light polluted, and drier environment in Bathurst, NSW: 

 

"as promised here is an image of comet 46p/Wirtanen taken from near Bathurst last night. The waxing Moon severely impacted the view. Pentax 75SDHF, Canon 6D, 30 seconds, ISO 6400, EQ6Pro and Orion Star shoot auto guider. The comet was very close the M45 but it hasn't lived up to the hype but that's what comets do" (Geoff Wyatt 17 December 2018). Read a detailed report here.

 

 

I still have fond memories of Comet Lovejoy and Geoff Wyatt's video of it above Stanwell Tops on 25 December 2011:

 

and even more so Comet McNaught which Geoff captured in January 2007 (below) and which I easily viewed above Sydney Harbour from North Head:

 

Comet McNaught surpassed Halley's comet, and is so far the best one I have seen to date - but there is always a chance that another will come along in 2019.

 

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